The justices cleared the way for an immediate expansion of same-sex marriage by unexpectedly and tersely turning away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit gay and lesbian unions.Exuberant plaintiffs Moudi Sbeity, left, and his partner Derek Kitchen, and Kody Partridge and her wife, Laurie Wood, celebrate the U. Supreme Court's rejection of an appeal from Utah and four other states that had sought to bar weddings between gay couples.
"We know that marriage benefits couples, families, and children.
Advocates for gay marriage in other states are rejoicing at the justices' decision, which could lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage in 30 states.
Federal appeals courts already had struck down bans against gay marriage in five states — Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin — and those rulings will be allowed to stand.
Colorado: In Boulder, County Clerk Hillary Hall said she and her staff are hoping to issue licenses soon to same-sex couples.
This summer, Hall's staff issued more than 200 marriage licenses to same-sex couples after a federal court struck down Utah's ban on gay marriage.